Alice in Wonderland, follows the story of a young girl named Alice. When Alice falls into a rabbit’s hole, she enters into a magical world called Wonderland. In Wonderland, Alice encounters many strange characters including the evil queen of hearts. Alice must find a way to outsmart the queen, so she can find a way to get back home and avoid losing her head.
Kathryn Beaumont not only voices Alice, but also Wendy from the film Peter Pan.
The movie is based on two books by Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
Unlike previous Disney animated films based on classic books, Alice in Wonderland does not open on a storybook. Instead, the first shot is of Big Ben.
Disney commissioned 30 songs for the film, based on the verses Carroll had sprinkled throughout the books. Fourteen of them made the cut, making “Alice” the most song-filled of all Disney animated musicals.
Though today Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is a cult-classic, when it was released in 1951, it was considered a complete failure. It wasn’t until the 1960s that it became more widely appreciated and treasured.
The only character that was not from the books, but was included in the movie, was the Doorknob.
Many believe that the Dodo bird character was actually inspired by the author of Alice in Wonderland. Apparently, Charles frequently stuttered and had difficulty pronouncing his last name. Instead of saying it in its entirety, he would simply call himself “The Dodo.”
Walt Disney had dreamed of making an “Alice” feature for nearly 30 years. Back in 1923, when he was still making silent shorts for the Laugh-O-Gram studio in Kansas City, he made one called “Alice’s Wonderland” that mixed a live-action Alice with animated creatures. This short became his calling card when he went to Hollywood.
In the film’s opening credits, Lewis Carroll’s name is misspelled “Carrol.”
“Alice” cost $3 million to make, during a production that spanned five years, three directors, 13 credited writers, 750 artists, 800 gallons of paint, 1,000 watercolor hues, and 350,000 drawings and paintings. It earned back just $2.4 million.
Animator Ward Kimball blamed the movie’s failure on all the competing creators — “too many cooks,” as he put it. Walt complained that the movie’s heroine lacked “warmth.”